4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

24 October 2012

AS GILLARD GOVERNMENT WORKS TO EXCLUDE BACKPACKERS FROM CAIRNS, WHY IS WARREN ENTSCH INCAPABLE OF PROTECTING JOBS AND THE CAIRNS COMMUNITY?

A new threat to the Cairns tourism business is looming from Wayne Swan, in his psychotic quest to "balance the federal budget" despite any damage he may cause to the economy.

The WHV (Working Holiday Visa) travellers are an important component to the Cairns tourism market.  While hugely price sensitive, these foreign backpackers bring to Cairns cheap labour (including fruit picking that boat people won't do), relatively long visits to Cairns where they spend heaps in the CBD, and for the purveyors of liquor, they drink like fish.  The cheap room and headbanger music market lives on these people, and the police and CBD shopkeepers scrape them and their vomit off the streets in the morning.  The Yin and Yang of the backpacker market.

So ignorantly, Wayne Swan has proposed changes to the visa fees that will signal to the backpacker market that "we really don't want you here, go to Thailand instead".  The changes include: 

• another 25% increase in WHV visa fees, which have now almost doubled under this government to $350.  
•  a 17% increase in passenger movement and migration fees - all while cutting numbers of front-line services which have seen long slow lines at Cairns Airport
•  a requirement for WHV visa applicants to have both AU$5000 in savings, as well as a confirmed ticket to get the hell out 

At some point, the kids are just going to say "uncle" and go elsewhere to countries that actually want them visiting.

The bigger question sadly, is where is the Member for Bloggers, Warren Entsch?  Calls to his office for a comment on this gutting of our backpacker market went without a response - typical of this member's engagement with the community.  He's so alienated his MP colleagues he's been completely ineffectual as Cairns' Parliamentary member.  A more flaccid example of a rep could not be imagined.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well it's either Entsch or Grasso. Any developments on this saga yet?

Anonymous said...

The question is where is the Governor General as this Government needs to be sacked as its making our country look like it has a corrupt Government as its got ministers under police investigation and our Prime Minister. What the hell is going on with Australia. Its bloody shamefull.

T.Asquith said...

Hey, that's a bit harsh, he did set his alarm and ring Macca on Sunday morning, doesn't that count as doing something?.

Anonymous said...

Very good point HBW. I think the whole LNP is asleep at the wheel in regard to this. They are probably still fighting amongst themselves and Wazza is completely out of it. Charlie

ruby said...

What is this with the paranoia to get a "surplus" budget? It's disappointing to see Swan also obsessed with this.

Anonymous said...

You are joking Anonymous 18:31 right? You obviously have a short memory about the lies and corruption of the previous government that was eventually sacked by the Australian voters. You know, the one that encouraged the invasion of another country under false pretenses, allowed millions of dollars in bribe money to be paid to its government through the AWB. Allowed the imprisonment of Australian citizens on charges which have now been proven baseless. Spent an unprecedented amount of taxpayers money to advertise themselves to the Australian middle class voters, the list goes on. All the while sitting on a pile of public cash from the sale of our public assets like Tel$tra. Makes this government look like a walk in the park by comparison. You know, lower taxes and interest rates, workplace relations,......

ruby said...

Entsch will run only if he believes he will win and/or Abbott will win Government. He backed away in 2007 (Kevin 07) because he knew damned well that Howard's days were over, and the public didn't want his and Entsch's "Work Choices."

Anonymous said...

8:18 They also cost the taxpyer 20million in compensation for breach of human rights and none got a rap over the knuckles.

On the backpacker thing I do not care. I accept that many industries need the backpacker but they shut locals out all together unless they are young and attractive. When you have bought a house and invested in the area and get shunned only to see cute 20 year olds walk into work day after arrival it turns you off supporting them.

They say they hire locals when tickets or qualifications are require. So to get short term temporary work a local needs to pay out extra for these. My husband was paying out left and right for every colour of card, first aid, special driver licenses like traffic control and hired driver and then also had to pay for the courses. Then got like 2 weeks work and was told to pay for the clothing as well. For dive boats needed coxwain this or that while backpackers just waltzed on.

Fruitpicking is closed shop, farmers hate recruiting as time consuming so they use the hostels as employment agencies so again locals cannot even get an interview unless they are in the loop. I got told you needed to be on the trail to learn about the next good paying job. Have their own grapevine and hard to find it.

So would support the industry a lot more if they did at least attempt to give locals a look in. They don't so glad Warren is awol having lunch at port once again.

Also I think it a good idea they need $5000 minimum and all over the world standard practise you need a outward bound ticket. I have met too many backpackers who arrive in Cairns and see nothing due to no funds. Then they go home and say Cairns is not worth it because all they did was sit by the lagoon and get drunk. No skydiving, no tablelands, no GBR, no islands, no kayaking so if they are forced to save another 6 months they will get so much more out of their trip and we get so much more of their money. :)

Dean said...

Most other western countries have done the same thing, particularly the UK which is a source of most of our backpackers. Given the way the dollar's gone, they'll still come in droves to make double what they do at home.

This obsession with a surplus is a problem caused by the short-term media and public which demands surpluses regardless of the impact on the economy. The last 3 years have been a financial slump to most sectors with company tax receipts well down, but politically, a party can't go a whole term without running at least one surplus. Even if it is in the best interests of the country to continue to run a defecit until the global economy recovers.

The voters get what they want these days, even if it's bad for them. That's a complete lack of leadership. A good leader would convince the public we don't need a surplus and just do what's best for the country. The LNP is doing the same thing in Qld, cutting spending sharply and making a big loss this financial year so it can get a slight surplus before it heads to the polls in 3 years. When really, the cost cutting should have been over the whole term. It's a nonsense theory and it's always bad for the country. Unfortunately there's no way to avoid it.

Anonymous said...


I recall years ago Howard carrying on how a surplus was not necessarily a good thing. Of course once he got one.. finally! (after how many years as Treasurer and PM) the tune was changed and now we have the surplus is king carry on. It can be good or it can simply mean they are over taxing us.

Complex for most. If key indicators are strong like employment data, inflation and so forth then the public should not worry about such low debt levels.

Higher productivity should be central to the debate so that going forward we are ensuring the income is provided to repay that debt and that we have strong growth.
They can always print money to pay down debt :)

shanghai said...

dean mate u nearly right the secret to leadership is to get them to do what u want happilley

Dean said...

I agree, a master of the arts would have the masses begging them to do what they had planned on doing all along.

Bit like US invasions. No point having a trillion dollar military if you can't invent an enemy.

Jake, Edge Hill said...

I agree with Anon 10:37 about backpacker visas.

I was snorkelling on the reef not long ago, when I got talking to an 18 year old English girl, sun-baking on the roof of the boat, and employed as a 'lookout', in case snorkellers get into trouble.

She'd been in Cairns less than two days when she got the job. My kids, and other friend's kids, have been after those type of jobs for years, have had their names down all over the place, and were always told there were no vacancies.

This girl was saving up to move on, she was taking money out of Cairns to get somewhere else.

Why are we issuing work visas to foreigners when our own kids are struggling to find work, it's not fair, and it's not a level playing field.

I refuse to employ backpackers, even though they are cheaper, and I don't have to pay them sick pay, holiday pay, or superannuation, our kids come first.